Simple, smart rules can make a big difference in ensuring sustainable water use.
In Nebraska, a state that is at the beginning of the hydraulic fracturing cycle, the legislature is considering a bill (LB 856) that would require companies that draw groundwater to install meters to measure the amount of water used and the amount of fracturing fluid recovered. Measurements would be reported to the Department of Natural Resources.
The bill, which has received no organized opposition and is expected to pass, is sponsored by Senator Norm Wallman, who makes simple sense in describing the bill:
“I think we need to know where it’s going, nothing new, I think knowledge is the key. Don’t you want to know where your water is going? It’s already being monitored so I think it’s a good thing to put in the statute.”
Ken Winston of the Nebraska Sierra Club spoke of the importance of tracking water use in a state where drought is a significant consideration:
In an area where the water table is precious, it’s just commen sense to track water used and the amount of fracturing fluid that comes back. A bill like this imposes small costs on operators in exchange for a substantial community benefit that allows effective planning for sustainable water.
Why not do that in Montana?